L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, September 18, 2022

When stars align - Joan Blondell and Dick Powell


Until fairly recently I didn't realize that Blondell and Powell, who costarred in so many Warners' features during the Thirties, were actually married to each other for eight years. They worked together for the first time on "Gold Diggers of 1933"; where, as in most of the Busby Berkeley musicals, the girl that Powell got at the fade-out was Ruby Keeler, not Blondell. The second of three marriages for both of them, they tied the knot on 19 September 1936.

Applying for their wedding license in Los Angeles, 12 September 1936.
They were married aboard the SS Santa Paula, the liner that would take them on their two week honeymoon trip to New York.
With wedding attendants actor Regis Toomey and Blondell's hairdresser and friend, Ruth Pursley, who acted as maid of honor,
Arriving in New York on their honeymoon; they spent another two weeks there.
With their friend and frequent co-star, Glenda Farrell, and her unidentified dance partner.
With Ruby Keeler.
With Bette Davis. (As if I needed to tell you that...!)

The couple had a daughter together, Ellen, who went on to become a film studio hair stylist. And Powell adopted Blondell's son from her first marriage, Norman, who took Powell's name and later became a producer, director, and television executive. 

They divorced on 14 July (Bastille Day!) 1944. A year later Powell married June Allyson; they had two children and remained together until Powell's death. Not long after she and Powell parted ways, Blondell entered into an emotionally and financially disastrous three year marriage with producer Mike Todd. In 1972 Blondell published a roman à clef entitled "Center Door Fancy", in which she suggested that it was Allyson who broke up her marriage to Powell. Ten years later, Allyson published her autobiography, "June Allyson by June Allyson", refuting the not-so-veiled accusation. I guess the jury's still out on this one. And will most like have to stay out. But something tells me that the "fiction" may be closer to the truth than is the "non-fiction"...?

Exactly midpoint in their marriage they posed for the following, publicity for the film they made together in 1940, ironically titled, "I Want a Divorce."

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